After Mother went home to be with the Lord, the family held an
estate sale of her possessions that had been sitting in boxes for
As I rummaged through the boxes of elegant china, laces and
linens, one box in particular caught my eye. This one smelled musty,
and a piece of straw was poking through the top. I pried it open with
scissors and began to sneeze.
I heard of a guy who couldn't speak
English. He was terrified of trying because he did not want to fail. So he found
an English teacher and asked him to teach him how to order a meal in a
restaurant in perfect English. The teacher taught him how to say four words:
hamburger, french fries, Coke.
Every day after that, the man went
to order his hamburger, french fries and Coke. Soon he grew tired of eating the
same things every day. So he asked the English teacher to teach him how to order
something else to eat. The teacher taught him to say eggs, toast and
juice. read more
The presence of Jesus is
all you need. It is exciting to enjoy His presence daily in everything you do.
The Bible records the story of a group of friends who broke through the rooftop
of a house, so they could bypass the crowds blocking their way to Jesus, and
bring their paralytic friend before Jesus to be healed.
I love that
"whatever it takes" spirit to be in the presence of Jesus. But you know what?
Today we don't have to climb mountains, swim vast oceans or even break through
rooftops to be in His presence. Right where you are, Jesus, your Immanuel, is
with you! read more
Empty is not fun. No one
likes the thought of an empty glass, an empty gas tank and least of all, an
empty bank account. When considered in those terms, empty is just plain
undesirable. But what would happen if we could begin to think of empty as
opportunity? What if, every time we saw barren, we could imagine bounty?
The idea of seeing what could be instead of what is, would not be,
however, an earthly exercise in wishful thinking, merely an act of human
intellect. Instead it would be a spiritual application of a powerful biblical
principle, which simply teaches; "We [the righteous] live by faith, not by
sight" (2 Cor. 5:7, NKJV). In other words, we are to live in expectancy,
standing on what we know and believe to be true and not living in despair,
troubled by what we see with our natural eyes. read more
When I was a kid I had one
particular "goin' to church" dress that made me cringe. I was 11 at the time and
the dress—the height of fashion for the late '50s—was crinkly pink organdy,
complete with a wide-swinging under-hoop. If I became too animated while wearing
it, I lost my balance! Even worse, my two younger sisters, Carolyn and Diana,
each had a matching crinkly-hooped dress. As you can imagine, trying to sit
together on the front-row pew during a church service presented a problem. read more
spring of 1980, a series of earthquakes and small eruptions drew the attention
of people living in the Pacific Northwest. Scientists and sightseers were drawn
to Mount St. Helens. Steam vents, tremors and hot spots appeared almost
Then on May 18, a 5.1-magitude earthquake shook the mountain. For
a few seconds the north flank seemed to ripple, then broke loose and began
sliding downhill as a massive avalanche. Eruption plumes shot up as quickly as
600 miles an hour. The blast traveled as a hot, churning mass of gas, rock, ash
and ice. More than 50 people were killed or reported missing after the blast,
and the eruption devastated 235 square miles. read more
As a Christian counselor I have listened
to many married couples express feelings of frustration and hurt because of
their inability to effectively communicate with one another. Studies prove that
communication breakdown is a major source of conflict, one that can eventually
lead to other problems in the marriage, such as a lack of intimacy and divorce.
Statistics prove the truth of what the Bible says in Proverbs 18:21: "The tongue
has the power of life and death" (NIV).
However, there is a remedy. Many of the
struggles married couples face, in fact, can be avoided with the use of some
simple communication tools. Learning to use these tools to express ourselves in
more effective ways fosters better understanding, which results in greater
emotional intimacy. read more
As a young believer, whenever circumstances that I viewed as roadblocks to an otherwise smoothly sailed life appeared, I took them as something to remove. They had no business causing a detour in my well-organized, over-controlled lifestyle. I had determined that anything negative must be the devil's playground, and I needed many hours of standing on the Word to void that which I perceived as his sinister activity. However, this seemed to have no effect. Situations remained.
Avoiding them or trying to pray the problems away was of no use either. Troubles sometimes arrived in a rush with no advance warning. It was confusing. Shouldn't believers be exempt from the normal living that existed for nonbelievers? Doesn't the writer of the psalms tell us that the crooked will be made straight? Doesn't Jesus calm troubled waters? But I also kept coming across words such as "suffering," "trials" and "testing" from New Testament writers. Could it be that somehow the Father allowed those dreadful situations in my life? If so, why? read more
I love O'Reilly, my Jack Russell Terror—I mean Terrier. Her boundless energy and spunk keep me on my toes, and her mischievous antics make me laugh—even when I'm trying to discipline her. She is full of personality, possessing the spirit of a preschool toddler. I love that about her. That is until recently when something happened to temporarily change my appreciation of her joie de vivre!
I was released from the hospital after undergoing major surgery, and it felt good to be home. I slowly hobbled into the house; every muscle in my body was hurting. I grabbed my down comforter, wrapped it tightly around me like a burrito and began to melt beneath its warmth. Just as I had started to drift off into a nice sleep, I was abruptly awakened. The front door opened and a shot of lightning flashed by me. It was O'Reilly. She soared into the living room where I was nursing my wounds and skyrocketed right for me like a heat-seeking missile. read more
Perhaps God spoke to you
at a particular time or was present on a particular occasion. At the time, it
didn’t seem as if it was God who was doing the speaking or even if God was
present at all. You underestimated, if not rejected, what He did or what He
said. Only years later did it become clear to you that you had failed to
recognize His presence.
I remember many years ago, when Louise and I had
moved away from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for only 18 months, we came back and
found that Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church had been started. Before we went
away, it had been a vacant lot with a big sign on it that read, "Future home of
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church." That sign just stayed there month after month
for a couple years. We wondered: What is happening here? When will that
church start? read more